We are pleased to share our new Rainbow Newcomers Toolkit! This is a guide to help 2SLGBTQIA+ newcomers with settling in Waterloo Region. This project began with Rhea Bhat (she/her), a Psychology major at Wilfrid Laurier University. Rhea received a Menich Award which allowed her to work with a not-for profit of her choice. It has taken a full year to develop and design this toolkit. That included a great deal of research and also getting feedback from our Rainbow Newcomers Connect team, and partners at COMPASS Refugee Centre and the City of Cambridge.

Rhea Shares:

The Rainbow Newcomers Toolkit is something I will always hold dear as a Brown, queer woman and an international student who had to settle down in Canada with no knowledge of various processes.

Working on the toolkit allowed me to learn more about the Waterloo Region Community and the various essential supports offered to newcomers on a multitude of topics. For newcomers, it is always a challenge to figure out where to start and how to navigate through the multiple resources available. I wanted to make this daunting process easier on newcomers by creating a one-stop guide that could help them start this process, along with contacts to resources within the community.

I chose to work with Spectrum and aimed the toolkit at 2SLGBTQIA+ newcomers because it can take time to explore and find their community, especially for those of us who have moved from unsafe environments. This experience has not only helped me develop invaluable skills but has also helped me realize that I would like to continue working with newcomers to Canada in any capacity that I can.

Thank you, Spectrum, for an experience I will always cherish!

Download the Toolkit!



SPECTRUM offers a safe place where LGBTQ2+ individuals can be themselves and find community and supports.